Did Amex’s new Gold card kill Chase’s Sapphire Reserve?

My wife and I each have Chase Sapphire Reserve cards, and our new annual fees just came due.  My previous plan was for my wife to downgrade her card to a no-fee Freedom card, and then I’d pay $75 to add her as an authorized user to my card.  Now, though, a new card has made me rethink my plans.  Now, I’m wondering: should I keep the Sapphire Reserve card at all?

Last week Amex unveiled their new Gold card which offers eye-catching perks in exchange for its $250 annual fee:

  • 4X Membership Rewards at US Restaurants
  • 4x Membership Rewards at US Supermarkets on up to $25K per calendar year in purchases (then 1x)
  • 3x Membership Rewards for flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com
  • $120 dining credit: $10 per month credit for spend at GrubHub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and Participating Shake Shack locations
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit

Whether those perks are worth the $250 annual fee depends upon your spend habits.  I created an easy way to answer that question for yourself, here: Is 4X worth $250 per year? How much are those Amex Gold 4X categories (grocery & dining) worth?

What if your answer, like mine, to whether the Gold card is worth the $250 annual fee was a resounding “YES“?  Does this mean that the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is no longer worth keeping? After all, a big part of the Sapphire Reserve’s value is with its 3X dining benefit.  Let’s break down the numbers…

Chase Sapphire Reserve’s valuable benefits

The Sapphire Reserve’s benefits can be found in my Google Doc spreadsheet: Ultra Premium Credit Card Value Worksheet.  As a reminder, this worksheet was designed to help you analyze which ultra-premium cards ($400+ per year) are worth the annual fee.  Read more about the spreadsheet here: Your turn: Which Ultra Premium Cards are Keepers?

Before the old Premier Rewards Gold card was turned into a gem and renamed to “American Express® Gold Card,” my personal valuation of the Sapphire Reserve card was as follows:

In total, my personal valuation of the card’s benefits came to $650.  That’s enough above the card’s $450 annual fee to make the card worth keeping.

Now, though, the Gold card has me rethinking things.  While in the United States, my wife and I will no longer use my Sapphire Reserve card at restaurants.  Even though I have a slight preference for Ultimate Rewards points over Membership Rewards points, I’ll take 4X Membership Rewards over 3X any day.  Still, I would continue to use the Sapphire Reserve card for dining when traveling outside of the US.  I’d also use it at hotel restaurants within the US since there’s no guarantee that they’ll code as dining (they may code as lodging).  And, I’d want to continue to use the Sapphire Reserve for all travel spend for its 3X rewards, best in class travel insurance, and $300 in annual travel credits.

After accounting for the Amex Gold card, my valuations of the Sapphire Reserve’s benefits changed.  The biggest change is that I dropped my valuation of “3X points per dollar for travel and dining” to just $40.  Here’s how I came to that number:

  • Dining: Going forward I won’t use the Sapphire Reserve for dining within the US at all, but would like to continue using it when outside of the country.
  • Travel: I have other cards that offer 3X for all travel purchases (Citi ThankYou Premier and US Bank Altitude Reserve), but I do personally prefer Ultimate Rewards points over ThankYou points or Altitude Reserve points (which are worth 1.5 cents each towards travel).
  • Overall, I’d estimate that I spend $15K per year on travel & international dining.
  • I arbitrarily assigned a quarter cent value of Ultimate Rewards points over competing points (ThankYou Rewards, for example)
  • Taken together: $15K spend x $0.0025 = $37.50.  I rounded up to $40.
  • This is, admittedly, a conservative valuation.  I’m likely to get plenty of additional value through earning 3X rather than 2X when dining outside of the US, but I’d rather error towards a lower value.

The other change I made was to increase my valuation of the Sapphire Reserve card’s travel protections.  The Sapphire Reserve really does have the best automatic travel protections available (see: Ultra-Premium Credit Card Travel Insurance).  As I considered this, I realized that I have a real world datapoint showing how much I value this: Even though I currently have a consumer Amex Platinum card which offers 5X for airfare, I’ve continued to earn just 3X with my Sapphire Reserve card for airfare in order to ensure that I’d have protection for trip delays, trip cancellation, emergency medical, etc. With Membership Rewards points worth a minimum of 1.25 cents each (see previous post for details about that), this implies that I value the Sapphire Reserve card’s travel protections at at least 2.5 cents per dollar spent on airfare.  If I spend $750 per month / $9,000 per year on airfare*, then we can back into how much I value Chase’s travel protections: $9,000 * .025 = $225.  Rounded down, that comes to $200.

* With the Sapphire Reserve, you’re covered even if you book award flights as long as you pay taxes and fees with the card.  So, the $9,000 per year on flights in my analysis includes the value of award flights.

In total, my new personal valuation of the Sapphire Reserve comes to $540 per year.  That’s enough over the card’s annual fee for me to keep the card (especially since I was very conservative in my value estimates).  But, it’s not enough to justify paying $75 more per year to get my wife an authorized user card.  Instead, she can use my card to pay for travel booked online.  And she can use her Citi Premier card when she needs to pay for travel in person (that’s a great option, too, for 3X gas purchases).  For dining, she can use her Amex Gold card within the US (4X), and her Citi Premier elsewhere (2X).

Your turn

Use the spreadsheet I created to estimate how much you value the Sapphire Reserve card, assuming you have the Amex Gold card too.

Click here to open the spreadsheet.

To use the spreadsheet, create a copy of it and then overwrite the values in columns D and E on the Sapphire Reserve tab with your own value estimates.

Tips for using the spreadsheet effectively

  • Be conservative with your estimates. Enter values that you would pay for a subscription for that benefit rather than the amount you expect to save.
  • Consider other factors not listed.  Most of the benefits of my Sapphire Reserve card are available through other cards, but I love the fact that this single card gives me best in class earnings on travel, best in class travel insurance, and increases the value of my Chase points earned on other cards.  There’s something great (to me) about having a single card to turn to for all travel spend.
  • Once you identify cards that you know that you’ll keep year after year (such as the Amex Gold card), make sure to consider that when evaluating overlapping benefits on other cards.  For example, the Amex Gold card offers 4X for US dining, so you shouldn’t assign any value to the Sapphire Reserve card’s 3X dining benefit unless you dine out a lot outside of the US.

Once you’ve come up with an honest estimate of the card’s value, compare it to the annual fee.  If your estimated value is less than the annual fee, consider downgrading it to a cheaper card or to a fee-free card.

Summary

I have no doubt that some readers will find that the new Amex Gold Card did indeed kill the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for them.  In my case, it’s clear that both cards provide value that exceed their annual fees, so I’ll keep both.  That said, I no longer plan to add my wife as an authorized user to my Sapphire Reserve card.  The main reason I wanted to do that was so that she would have her own card that earns 3X for dining.  Now, with the Amex Gold Card, she gets 4X within the US.  And, with the Gold card, authorized users are free.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Steve
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Steve

Greg, what about the opportunity cost of not converting your CSR to a freedom. 5x rewards x 6,000 dollars per year that’s pretty easy to max out? I know your wife is converting and you probably already have a Freedom but you cant’t have too many.

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

I like chases transfer options better.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Wondering if you could elaborate on using CSR for airfare in order to get emergency travel insurance? For example, if taking an extended around the world trip, I guess you have to use it for every destination for complete coverage? Or suppose you don’t use it for one flight, but then do for another, I guess you are covered for the destination to which you used it? Given the platinum cards benefits, wondering why you don’t use that, but maybe that’s because of the tripdelay etc. If I’m more interested in the medical, should I use the platinum? Maybe so complicated it’s an idea for a future post! Thanks.

Nick Reyes
Editor

You’ll find a comprehensive comparison in the post Greg linked to about Ultra-Premium insurance:

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/ultra-premium-credit-card-travel-insurance/

See that post for much more detail, but the moral of the story is that the only worthwhile travel insurance benefit of the Platinum card is emergency medical evacuation — and it covers that whether or not you use the card to pay for your trip. In other words, if you’re a cardholder, you’re covered. You’ll want to use the CSR to book your flights though to have trip cancellation / delay / lost luggage / baggage delay / travel accident insurance / etc as the Platinum card offers none of those things — and as long as you have the Platinum card, you’re covered for emergency medical evacuation/transportation.

Rob
Guest
Rob

AMEX states “Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance In the event that the Card Member or another covered family member (your spouse or domestic partner, dependent up to age 23, or age 26 if full-time student) traveling on the same trip itinerary as the Card Member becomes injured or ill while traveling and is seeking or has sought medical treatment, the Premium Global Assist Hotline medical department can assess the medical need for transportation and provide the service.” Would AU be considered a Card Member and as such, the primary card holder doesn’t need to be on the itinerary?

In 2-player mode so considering if Player2 need her own Platinum card or if she can be AU to ensure this emergency medical evacuation is covered.

Bob
Guest
Bob

The key word here is “extended”. CSR puts a limit of 60 days on trips and you must began and end the trip in your home state. After several discussions with CSR Benefits Dept. regarding an upcoming 70 day international trip, I decided to purchase my medical coverage from GeoBlue. I purchased an annual plan which was less expensive than multiple single trip coverage. CRS coverage is great but not for long 60+ day trips.

Alan
Guest
Alan

I have the Sapphire Reserve and had my wife as an authorized user. However, with this new Gold Card, I called to cancel her AU card because of the exact reasons you mentioned above. We will now both carry the Amex Gold cars since AU is free, and if we need to make travel related purchases, there are only rare times I would not be there to use my Reserve. Only downside is she now loses her own Priority Pass membership but that can be junk domestically.

docntx
Guest
docntx

Love the Gold card, but the benefits apply only Stateside, so, it is not as useful when we are actually traveling, plus I still run into a lot of resistance in the acceptance of AMEX cards, especially outside the US.

Sam
Guest
Sam

@Greg- What are you using the Citi Premier for and isn’t Citi stopping application for that this week? If so, is Citi coming out with new cards? Thanks!

Blue
Guest
Blue

(cough) “Gas”.

losingtrader
Guest
losingtrader

The new benefits are definite killers to 2 cards: Amex personal Blue which gives 6% at supermarkets on $6,000 in spend, unless you can MS the entire amount, something I think is personally dangerous (not like walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul -type dangerous, but risks the possibility of account closures), and the Amex Everyday preferred.

I’ll take 2.5% cash back everywhere @$59 per year (Alliant) over 1.5Amex points and being forced to type in a bunch of Amazon $1 gift card buys at month end if I don’t reach 30 charges.

It’s pretty cool the worst I can do now on anything is to get 2,5% cash back.

In discussing this with Europeans during my travel they are in awe of American credit card deals.

Blue
Guest
Blue

I’d argue it actually kills Old Blue Cash as well, especially since that takes one of five Amex slots and the new gold does not.

Rob
Guest
Rob

We travel 4 to 5 family vacations a year for my family of 3 and with work schedules and potential for illness, we almost always would buy a $250 travel insurance plan for the 3 or 4 trips a year that involved international travel or significant non-refundable costs. It is a no-brainer if you look at it that way. CSR is worth a minimum of $1,000 a year in saved trip insurance to me. And if you’re wondering if it is really necessary to insure every expensive trip I would just point out we had one stomach bug incident last year that prevented a flight where we would have lost $1,700 if not for the insurance.

Everyone has their own risk tolerance, but for us, it makes us more confident in booking great trips since we don’t worry anymore about what if someone gets sick? We just book it, insure it and if someone gets sick and we can’t go, we just get our money back and plan it again for next year.

Before we embraced this kind of outlook, we were forever putting off travel with dumb excuses like, “oh, I’m not sure if work will be too crazy, let’s wait.” or other such thinking. What we found is that by booking far in advance, insuring it, and not worrying so much, we find a way to get our work responsibilities to fit around our vacations much better.

Jcb
Guest
Jcb

I don’t understand why there is no mention of the 1.5cpp redemption rate with the CSR? 3x points on dining = 4.5% back which beats the Gold.

Dave
Guest
Dave

because these guys mostly transfer Chase points to other airlines and book rewards that way, instead of straight redemption 1.5cpp through Chase Travel site

Nick Reyes
Editor

If you primarily use your Chase points to book through the Chase portal and primarily cash out Amex points at 1 cent each, that’s true. However, if you primarily transfer to partners, 4x is better than 3x.

As a quick example, both Chase and Amex transfer to Iberia Avios. 34K Iberia Avios will get you one-way in business class from New York to Madrid on Iberia. You’ll need to spend $11,333 on dining at 3x with the CSR versus $8,500 in dining at 4x on the Gold to get enough points for that flight.

And that’s not considering the current 40% transfer bonus to Avios. If you earned at 4x and transferred with the 40% bonus, it would require just over $6K in dining spend to earn the points for that flight on the Amex Gold — you’ll have to spend nearly double on the CSR to get that.
(the math on that: 34K / 1.4 (40% transfer bonus) = 24,285 MRs required / 4x dining = $6,071.42 in spend.

If you’re booking through the Chase portal, a one-way business class ticket to Spain would likely cost more than $2,000. At $2K, you would need 133,333 Ultimate Rewards points to book that flight at 1.5cpp through the UR portal — which would require $44,444 spend in restaurants at 3x. That’s why I generally prefer to transfer to partners and generally only consider the 1.5cpp as a secondary factor.

That’s just one small example. I do use the Chase travel portal a good bit, so I’m not discounting the value of having the ability to use points at 1.5cpp — that does make things easy and it can be a good deal in some instances. But I definitely wouldn’t value 4.5% cash back over 4 Membership Rewards points even if it were truly cash. Our current Reasonable Redemption Value for Membership Rewards points is 1.82 cents each (meaning that you should reasonably be able to get at least that much value out of points since you have access to a large number of partners), making 4x worth approximately 7.28%. And that’s not assuming that you make a strong effort to extract the best value possible — with some maximization effort, you could certainly find it to be worth even more.

Of course, on the flip side, you might find the Chase travel portal fits your needs better — and that’s totally fine, I’m just laying out why I think many rewards enthusiasts (Greg included) would disagree that 4.5% beats the Gold.

jcb
Guest
jcb

Good points. I think I’m biased towards UR points because they are the only SW transfer partner and I use them a lot. I also tend to use the 1.5cpp portal redemption for partial point purchases on lodging outside the US pretty frequently. But I will have to rethink how I use each card, it’s not so black and white anymore.

Nick Reyes
Editor

There’s no doubt the 1.5cpp redemption can be useful. Just a week ago, I booked flights for family members for a small domestic trip where airfare was only about $100 RT. It made a lot more sense to use about 7,000 Ultimate Rewards points than transfer to partners in that case. It’s certainly a useful benefit to have in situations like that (as Greg notes, it’s particularly valuable when you’re earning at 5x and using at 1.5cpp).

Eugene
Guest
Eugene

I can think of one more scenario where 1.5cpp is very useful. Those who have children in high school or college, or have a teacher in a family tend to be tied to school schedule. Redeeming miles during school breaks, especially around Christmas, is very difficult as airlines tend to have very low award space availability. In this case 1.5cpp become a very nice option to have.

Blue
Guest
Blue

Wife’s going to HK and if I had not been able to find J award tickets I could have got her Premium Economy for about $1,000 with the 1.5x bonus which would have been very, very solid.

sam
Guest
sam

Had the exact same question, thanks for the awesome points!

5150d
Guest
5150d

The CSR also provides PRIMARY rental car insurance AND, as you mentioned, you get all the travel insurance benefits even when using frequent flyer miles to purchase your ticket as long as you pay just the taxes with the card. At $150/yr net cost its a definite keeper. The AmEx Gold card is great but it does not provide the protection the CSR does. NOTE TO AmEx and Chase: Add purchases of gas with 3X bonus points and you take the win!

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

A few quick comments:
1) Chase points often transfer instantly to many of their travel partners (Amex MM can take up to a week).
2) Chase has more/better travel transfer partners
3) Many small restaurants refuse to accept American Express.

Nick Reyes
Editor

I love Ultimate Rewards, but I’ll debate you on two of those:

1) Transfer time shouldn’t be a week for any partner unless there is some sort of error. I haven’t tested all of the partners in a while, but according to all resources I just checked online, the longest transfer time From Amex is 48 hours — and those are to airlines Chase isn’t even partners with (one exception: Iberia. But since you can transfer MR to BA instantly and then from BA to IB, that’s not really a difference). Most partner transfers are instant.

2) Chase does not have more transfer partners. “Better” is certainly subjective and may be the case for you — but Amex actually has double the number of transfer partners (Chase has 10, Amex has 20). I recently wrote a post about the strengths Membership Rewards has over Ultimate Rewards:

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/09/18/stengths-membership-rewards-has-over-ultimate-rewards/

Chase only offers 2 airline transfer partners that Amex doesn’t have — United and Southwest. Amex has quite a few airline partners that Chase doesn’t have. If you’re looking to use your points as miles to fly in international premium cabins, Amex partners can probably serve you as well or better — and they offer occasional transfer bonuses like 25% to Flying Blue, 30% to Virgin Atlantic, and the current 40% to Avios, making their points more valuable if you redeem with those partners (all partners with Chase, but always at 1:1). On the other hand, if you’re looking to use your points for hotel redemptions, you would likely prefer using Chase for Hyatt. If you’re looking to fly Star Alliance without fuel surcharges, United is also easier than hunting for which Aeroplan partners don’t include fuel surcharges. In the end, whether Chase is better comes down to 4 total transfer partners that Chase has and Amex doesn’t: United, Southwest, Hyatt, and IHG. Having those programs certainly might make Ultimate Rewards better for you. I’ll still continue to collect both (mostly for Hyatt and for situations where there’s no transfer bonus). I’m not sure I’d be ready to call MR “better”, but I definitely couldn’t easily give the win to Chase.

3) Amex definitely isn’t as widely accepted. Personally, I only rarely run into restaurants that won’t take it. I more frequently run into small stores that won’t take it (like small gift shops / mechanics / etc). That said, the pizzeria closest to my house doesn’t take Amex – so I won’t be able to use my Gold card there. You make a good point — if restaurants you frequent don’t take Amex, that could make a huge difference for you.

Alina
Guest
Alina

You could call customer service about the pizzeria that doesn’t take Amex. They will pass that on to their merchant services team to contact the owner and sell them on accepting Amex as method of payment.

Sam
Guest
Sam

To me, I still find it valuable to have a toe in the UR pool (after you can still consolidate points from the freedom and freedom unlimited cards), but I no longer believe it’s worth paying the premium for the Reserve over the Preferred. Trying to squeeze the value out of the card for the extra point on dining and travel purchases with the Reserve just doesn’t make sense when the Preferred’s other benefits are almost as good (similar travel protections for example). I suppose this varies by how many travel expenses people still pay for in cash, but for me the Reserve just doesn’t make sense any longer.

Jess
Guest
Jess

Agree with you 100%, Sam. The CSR is great, but my math just can’t justify it over the CSP. Thanks to Frequent Miler for getting me to actually run the numbers!

Rob
Guest
Rob

I am still within a year of CSR so have some time to think the math through. With no math, I am seeing the same conclusion that CSR will be downgrade to CSP; the $55 AF difference between CSR (net $150 AF) and CSP ($95) can’t get value from.

In 2-player mode: was planning on making Player2 AU on CSR but is also coming to the same conclusion as Greg.

Grant
Guest
Grant

Greg, any value to Visa Infinite benefits or the universal acceptance of Visa over AMEX? I’m sure these are small valuations, but wanted to get your thoughts on those points.

Vet&Banker
Guest
Vet&Banker

Give our spend patterns the answer is “no” for us. Even outside of expected overseas plans, I look at the perks value like this (bottom up):

-Airline fee credit: $0. I fly United, and they have no GCs; I also don’t pay for anything incidental on a flight.
-3X MR on flights: $0. Get this from CSR, plus more categories.
-Dining credit: $10. I am never going to go out of my way to grab something from those specific places.
-4x US restaurants: 3X with CSR makes this 1X. So maybe…$40? But CSR also has international restaurants too.
-4X US groceries: currently 2.62%, so this is ~6% (MR at 1.5 cents/ each). Good value, but I don’t MS much right now, so…$80 for groceries and the cards I’d buy/use that give me 4 MR over 2.6% cash.

Given that I get well over $150 value from my CSR’s Priority Pass, it’s essentially a free card for me. The AMEX Gold would have a cost to then subtract the benefits from (though I love the transfer bonuses). It’s a good card, and a great card if you can get a lot from the dining and airline credits. But even for lighter overseas travelers it isn’t particularly a CSR killer. As usual, personal habit define the best card.

FlyingNinja
Guest
FlyingNinja

Most of my flights are award flights and if I use Ritz card which give the same travel protection, then I think the CSR is dead to me.

Josh
Guest
Josh

For people who don’t MS that much, something to be mentioned is a lot of the time (not all), purchases have a higher ROI working on a signup bonus. Even better if your signup bonus card has travel / dining categories :).

Nick Reyes
Editor

That’s also true for people who MS in any quantity. Your best ROI will always be working on a good welcome bonus. But if you’re able to hit minimum spend with purchases that generally go unbonused, you’d be better off taking advantage of bonus categories on the cards you intend to keep, which is what this is about.

Mike
Guest
Mike

It’s a good card but the AMEX transfer partners are underwhelming in my opinion.

Kacie
Guest
Kacie

For me, I don’t MS, and as a family of 5 our grocery costs are one of our highest monthly expenses. In our situation, Gold wins out over something like EDP with the $6k annual cap. And I appreciate not having to worry about swiping 20-30x a month depending on the card.

For us, we will keep CSR for travel and primary rental car insurance, with points boosted by Freedom and Freedom Unlimited purchases too.

Amex will get our dining and grocery. Amex is not accepted at our doctor’s office, tire place, some insurances. And freaking Costco.

It is worth it to me right now to collect MR, UR, and cash back depending on the purchase.

David
Guest
David

Another great post Greg .. I hadn’t considered using CSR over my Amex Plat for airline tickets, but I will now.

Thanks,
David

Fresh
Guest
Fresh

If memory serves me correctly, Amex’s dining category is vague no? ie – Starbucks or fast food, bars, cafes etc do not count as restaurants vs CSR’s almost every place counts as restaurants/dining? The Gold card almost seems good to me because I do use grubhub often though was thinking it might replace my EDP instead. Also to mention CSR does work with MPX at starbucks btw. Not sure you can this with Amex.

trackback

[…] 消息來源 FrequentMiler […]

BombayMike
Guest
BombayMike

Awesome post and really useful spreadsheet, Greg! I not only agree with your methodology, most of my estimated values are close to yours and for the same reasons (e.g. zero value attached to Priority Pass).

Minor nit – if you are comparing a couple of benefits (e.g. 3x travel & dining points value & 1.5x travel redemption value) as the incremental value OVER the CSP and Ink Business Preferred, both of which have a $100-ish annual fee, your total value for justifying the CSR needs to also be compared to the incremental difference in annual fees. I mean either take the total value of the expected benefit and justify the total annual fee against it, or take the extra value over a CSP/IBP and justify the extra annual fee to be paid (about $350).

Shouldn’t change the conclusion for most people, but would be more consistent.

Jags
Guest
Jags

I think you need to consider the personal valuation for the $300 credit to be no more than $286.50. You earn no points on that $300 spend and that means you’re losing 900 UR/$13.50 in rewards.

chop
Guest
chop

I think before people start calling this new card a CSR killer, perhaps they take notice of all the restaurants where the new card does NOT earn 4x on restaurant spend. Reports are now trickling in and folks aren’t happy.

Hari
Guest
Hari

I’d love to see one of these comparisons include the Uber card from BarclayCard.

No Annual Fee

4% cash-back on dining

3% cash-back on hotel & airfare (including travel agencies)

2% cash-back for online purchases

1% for everything else

You get this cash-back for purchases outside the US, too, not just US restaurants like the Gold card. Plus, you get phone coverage if you pay your phone bill on it… up to $600 for damage/theft. While it is not a transferable currency, I am having a hard time arguing with these numbers from an ease of use perspective.

trackback

[…] However, when the luster of new account bonuses is gone, whether because you’re locked out of the bonuses you may want or you just don’t want to open five or ten or thirty new cards per year, you next have to consider your return on everyday spend. For a lot of people, food makes up a big part of the budget. That’s one of the reasons I was so pumped for the new benefits on the Amex Gold card: US Supermarkets and US Restaurants make up a healthy portion of our personal spending each year. The card created such buzz that Greg had to ask: Did Amex’s new Gold card kill Chase’s Sapphire Reserve?. […]

Jay
Guest
Jay

Good write up overall but I can’t shake the fact you are bias towards the AMEX Gold. One thing we have to address here is – the AMEX Plat is the direct competitor to the CSR, not the AMEX Gold. I see the AMEX gold as a slightly more luxurious competitor to the CSP.

The thing here is – the CSR offers more luxurious perks, more travel insurances, and etc… While the AMEX Gold does have 4X dining and groceries, the CSR has a more flexible 3X travel. Chase’s travel term is broad, which makes it very good to stack points. If you look past the fact you get 1 less points for dining, you can actually get more from a more flexible 3X travel system.

Pete
Guest
Pete

CNB Crystal Visa Infinite and has up to $1000 in travel credits with all 4 cards at a total annual fee of $400. Priority Pass with unlimited guests (remember chase USED to do that), global entry, multiples on restaurants, even the $100 discount from Visa Infinite for pairs of plane ticket from their site. No junk 5/24 and they have a 9% interest rate if you do have a reason to carry a short term balance. CNB puts Chase to shame.

KT Watkins
Guest
KT Watkins

both cards could be compliments to one another (or the CSP) if you run the numbers. 4% on groceries, plus the $220 in credits can make the gold positive , while pushing all other spend on the CSR makes that a very lucrative card (reason I push the rest on CSR is because traveling internationally the CSR makes more sense than the gold).